Selenite, Satin Spar, Desert Rose, Gypsum Flower, Alabaster

Gypsum is a mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO₄·2H₂O), it holds a significant place in both the geological and industrial realms. The history of gypsum dates back millennia, with evidence of its use in ancient civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia for plastering walls, making moulds and creating sculptures. Its versatility and abundance have ensured its continued relevance through the ages. Its name derives from the Greek word "gypsos", meaning "chalk" or "plaster", attesting to its common usage in the production of plaster and plasterboard. Gypsum forms in evaporative environments, typically where seawater or saline lakes evaporate, leaving behind deposits of gypsum. These deposits often occur in sedimentary rock layers, where the mineral precipitates out of solution as the water evaporates. Gypsum is a member of the monoclinic crystal system and is renowned for its diverse range of forms and different habits including prismatic, tabular, fibrous and rosette-like structures. Although they are the same mineral these differing crystal habits are classified as different varieties, the primary varieties or classifications are Selenite, Desert Rose, Satin Spar, Gypsum Flower and Alabaster. The varying habits that occur are due to the large variety of geological locations and environmental conditions in which gypsum crystallizes. Despite their differences in appearance, they are all classified as gypsum and are considered the same mineral. The non granular varieties of this mineral are sometimes collectively referred to as ‘Selenites’ as to indicate the presence of macrocrystallinity (Alabaster is not included is this application of the term ‘Selenites’).

Gypsum varieties:
Selenite: known for its transparent to translucent, prismatic crystal structure. It often forms as tabular crystals with striations running parallel to their length (C-axis). Selenite can also occur as twinned crystals or in massive form. It has a pearly or glassy lustre and can exhibit colourless, white, or pale shades.
Desert Rose: forms as rosette-shaped aggregates of bladed crystals. These rose-like formations often have a sandy or reddish-brown coloration, owing to included sand particles. Desert rose gypsum is commonly found in arid regions, where the crystals grow in sandy environments. They generally have a dull lustre
Satin Spar: features long, fibrous crystals that give it a silky, satin-like appearance. These fibrous crystals are typically parallel to each other, creating a fibrous or fibrous-veined texture. When polished it can exhibit chatoyancy and is often used in decorative items. Colours are pale and of various shades, including white, grey, pink and yellow.
Gypsum Flower: in some cases also known as Desert Roses or Desert Flowers, are intricate clusters of bladed crystals that form radial aggregates or rosette-like structures. These formations often resemble flowers or petals with delicate, interlocking crystals. Gypsum flowers can vary in colour and size depending on their environmental conditions. They are often brownish and white with a dull lustre.
Alabaster: a fine-grained translucent variety of gypsum used primarily in sculpture and ornamental applications. The name is derived from its supposed early source at Alabaston in Egypt. It can exhibit a range of colours, including white, beige, pink and green, along with black veining or patches depending on impurities present in the mineral. Alabaster is prized for its softness, which allows for easy carving and sculpting.

Metaphysical Properties
Overall gypsum is known for its calming influence, all varieties are said to promote deep peace and tranquillity, aiding in stress release and meditation. Its gentle energy guides introspection, pinpointing unresolved issues and encouraging self-healing. Gypsum dispels confusion, promoting clarity of thought and non-judgmental acceptance. Serving as a link to the light body and higher self, it aids to elevate consciousness and nurtures spiritual growth. Embodying a range of transformative energies it fosters mental clarity and spiritual insight, facilitating communication with higher realms and angelic energies. Placing macrocrystalline gypsum in the home creates a peaceful atmosphere, purifying the environment and fostering household harmony.
Selenite: this variety is known for its cleansing properties, both energetically and in physical spaces. It is believed to remove negative energies and purify the aura. It is associated with the crown chakra and is believed to facilitate communication with higher realms and divine beings.
Desert Rose Gypsum: often used for grounding purposes, helping individuals to stay connected to the Earth's energy and feel more centred and balanced. It is believed to facilitate spiritual growth and transformation, aiding in the development of intuition and psychic abilities.
Satin Spar Gypsum:  believed to enhance mental clarity and promote clear thinking. Aids in organising thoughts and seeing situations from a higher perspective. It is associated with an energy that promotes relaxation and inner peace. Ideal for meditation practices to achieve deeper states of tranquillity.
Gypsum Flower:
considered a transformation and personal growth stone. It can help individuals navigate through changes in life with grace and resilience. This variety is believed to aid in self-discovery, helping individuals to uncover hidden aspects of themselves and understand their true purpose.
Alabaster: said to stimulate creativity and inspiration. It can be used by artists and creative individuals to access new ideas and express themselves more freely. It is believed to bring balance to the emotional and spiritual aspects of life, promoting harmony and well-being.

Crystal Healing
Spinal column (promoting flexibility).  Toxin removal. Chest- skeletal / respiratory issues. Intestinal issues. 

All gypsum varieties share the same atomic alignment of their unit cell and therefore their primary mineralogical properties.Variances of diaphaneity, SG, habit, fracture & lustre can occur between these varieties.  

Group: Sulfates (Gypsum Supergroup)                                                  
Fracture: Splintery, uneven & conchoidal
Crystal System: Monoclinic                                                                   
Lustre: Vitreous, sub-vitreous, silky, pearly, dull
Composition: CaSO
Specific Gravity: 2.2 - 2.4
Colour: Colourless, white, pale: brown, yellow, pink & green                
R.I: 1.521-1.531                     
Transparency: Opaque, translucent, transparent                                     
Birefringence: 0.010
Hardness: 2                                                                                            
Streak: White
Optic Sign: Biaxial
Cleavage: Perfect
Form/Habit: tabular, prismatic, stout to acicular, often striated parallel to the C axis. Rosette-like clusters of lenticular crystals, granular masses and fibrous masses (satin spar).

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